An Oasis of Lyrical Sculpture
April 29 – October 29, 2023
(Member Preview April 28)
Sculpture by Kate Raudenbush with Poetry by Sha Michele
In 2023, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will present Incanto, the premiere exhibition of New York City-based artists Kate Raudenbush and Sha Michele. For Incanto, they will debut original works of sculpture and poetry that explore our human nature and invite visitors into a transformational space of self-inquiry. Each sculpture of Incanto will emerge out of the garden landscape in dialogue with a poem, with the intention of creating a sacred container where words, as questions and even incantations, activate the space and spark creative thought among visitors.
Five Sculptures Created in Dialogue with the Landscape
I Am Another Yourself
Seed of Self
Pictured: Braindrop at Burning Man 2009 with artist Kate Raudenbush; photo: Marc Whalen
Incanto is a journey through a sculptural, epic poem embraced by nature. The five monumental sculptures will explore profound concepts of identity and the higher self, the energy of ancestry, the transformational present moment, the perspective of the past, and finally, the balance between technology and the source code of our Earth. Visitors will be encouraged to journal and explore sculptures that call to them and resonate with the spoken poetry on an audio narration. Some works will form gathering spaces; some will be symbolic portals to journey through, and others will invite stillness and meditation.
The artists conceived Incanto during the deeply introspective times of the pandemic. It encapsulates Raudenbush’s most personal and philosophical work to date. Instead of an attempt to form conclusions with the artworks, the artists hope that the dialogue of art forms and inclusive physical experience of the art will offer meditative questions for open-hearted explorers to answer for themselves.
Follow the Creative Process
Work-in-Progress on Social Media
The artists are creating the exhibit especially for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. We’ll share their work-in-progress with exclusive content in the months leading up to the show’s debut. We invite you on the journey as these two artists create an experience specially designed for you.
Meet the Artists
Kate Raudenbush and Sha Michele
Kate Raudenbush (left) and Sha Michele (right) began collaborating at Burning Man after meeting there in 2000, and later creating Raudenbush’s first sculpture for the 2004 event. Kate has since become known for large-scale, allegorical works in laser-cut steel that form immersive, high-concept, experiential spaces for human connection. In her poems and art, Sha Michele draws on her African-American, Native American and European ancestry to address questions of heritage, cultural definitions, longing, and belonging.
Kate Raudenbush is an award-winning sculpture artist who emerged out of the creative vanguard of Burning Man to exhibit her work widely in the U.S. and internationally at art fairs, civic squares, arts festivals, galleries and museums. She has forged a creative path in Seoul, Amsterdam and Tulum, to Hollywood, Montreal and Washington, D.C. Poet Sha Michele has storied experience as a former actress and designer in Los Angeles, working with Spike Lee, Jamie Foxx and Gita Salem, in addition to her talent as an internationally exhibited designer of exotic, nature-inspired, totemic jewelry. Both artists incorporate a range of cultures, symbols and mythology in their work. They are thrilled to bring this thought-provoking, dynamic exhibit to the greater Richmond community.
Visiting the Art
Portals to Self-Discovery and Connection & Extended Evening Hours
Intricately and beautifully designed from a range of laser-cut, mixed metals such as weathered steel; mirror-polished, hammered stainless steel; and patinated bronze, most of the sculptures invite visitors to step inside. With heights reaching up to seventeen feet, they serve as portals to other worlds of thought, meaning, and healing.
Each piece is created in dialogue with the landscape, embracing companion plantings and water features developed in collaboration with the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Horticulture team. Dramatically lit from within and paired with poetry, the art creates multi-sensory experiences that will invite further exploration at night. As a result, the Garden will offer many related events, classes and even extended hours on select evenings.